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With Michelin accolades and a reputation as one of Chicago’s favorite breakfast spots, Stax Cafe‘s Little Italy location has been doing just fine for the past 11 years. But for owners Spiro and Heather Tsaldaris, the restaurant has been missing something: cocktails.
“When I first opened in Little Italy, I was just trying to get my foundation set,” Spiro Tsaldaris explained. “It entails a lot of time, money and effort to coordinate everything appropriately, from the food to the brand.”
With so much to do, boozy brunch staples weren’t high on the priority list for Stax’s first location. But when the restaurant opened its second outpost in 2018 in River West, the Tsaldarises decided to up the ante with a full cocktail menu.
“We thought, when it comes to brunch, you need a good Bloody Mary or mimosa on a Sunday,” Tsaldaris recalled.
Their hunch was right: Heather Tsaldaris’ creative cocktail lineup was a hit with guests. Now, her bellinis, mimosas and ever-popular Bloody Mary — which comes topped with a tiny waffle, a slice of bacon and other garnishes — will soon be debuting on the menu at Stax’s Little Italy location.
“It was always at the back of my mind to add it to the Little Italy location,” Tsaldaris said. “To add another popular asset to our menu would be a great plus for our brand.”
Tsaldaris applied for the liquor license back in May, but on account of a worker shortage at City Hall and the continued burden of the pandemic, it was just last week before an inspector finally came by. But now that the restaurant has passed, it won’t be long before brunch-goers can imbibe.
“We’re getting to the final stretch,” Tsaldaris said.